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Letter: Consider the trees when you’re doing waterwise landscaping

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) A large tree rests on a home along 1800 East near Highland High as crews and home owners begin extensive wind damage cleanup in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, following a storm that brought hurricane-force winds.

Utah is in a drought emergency. Gov. Cox declared so earlier this month. What does this mean? It means trees growing alongside our neighborhood streets will become more stressed. We live in a desert after all, but even this level of drought is worrisome.

If we all start “ripping our strips” and xeriscaping front yards without giving thought to our trees, we will lose them. Trees in our city have been growing in these locations for 50 or 100 years or more, and their shallow roots have been lured to the narrow slivers of moisture found in these irrigated strips. As wise and environmentally friendly as it seems, shutting off water to these areas can kill the trees in a few years. They may succumb to disease but ultimately they will die of thirst.

Please consider the trees when you’re doing waterwise landscaping or we’ll become a city of concrete and dirt with no canopy to thwart the sun.

Paul Maus, Salt Lake City

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